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Midwest Region - First Round

12

NC State
(21-13, 9-9 ACC)

NC State Wolfpack

What You Need To Know: Did a hot second half of the season get the Wolfpack into the play-in? A mediocre team throughout most of the season, State won four straight games including a huge win over Syracuse in the ACC tournament before bowing out to Duke. Can the offense work? It went dead cold in a 76-45 loss to Virginia back in January, and it did nothing in a 73-56 loss to Clemson in February. Forward T.J. Warren has been unstoppable, scoring 42 on Boston College and 41 on Miami, hitting the 20-point mark the last 17 games he played in – he missed the Maryland game in January. If he’s not on, forget it, but there’s the potential for a little bit of a run if the shots are falling. 

Strengths: Turnovers, Assist-Turnover Ratio, Warren

Weaknesses: Three Point Shooting, Rebounding, Steals  

12

Xavier
(21-12, 10-8 Big East)

Xavier Muskateers

What You Need To Know: The Musketeers won't blow anyone away with their quickness or athleticism, but they execute well and are unselfish enough to keep the ball moving to open spots. Guard Semaj Christon is a quality scorer who also rebounds a bit and sets up his teammates, and he uses his outside jumper to set up his drives to the basket - he's tough and can finish at the rim. Forwards Justin Martin and Matt Stainbrook provide a presence in the paint, but Martin can step away from the bucket some and stretches defenses. Stainbrook is a banger down low who has a nose for the ball. Keep an eye on junior guard Dee Davis. He’s a streaky scorer who also is a quality passer in transition.

Strengths: Rebounding, Assists, Shooting Inside The Arc

Weaknesses: Free Throws, Turnovers, Three Point Shooting